[ExI] The Coming War on General Computation

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 21 13:09:09 UTC 2012

Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> observed:

> We do have open hardware, and the means of production are
> slowly but surely coming to individuals and small groups.
> Rapid prototyping goes beyond just extruding blobby
> polymers.
> E.g. consider http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/silver-ink-solution-for-cheaper-faster-flexible-circuits-54967
> then think Memjet and http://www.technologyreview.com/printer_friendly_article.aspx?id=38973
> Even considering MIPS and SPARC, there are much simpler
> systems possible http://excamera.com/sphinx/fpga-j1.html

Thanks, Eugen, I was deliberately not mentioning FPGA, that's the one technology I can think of that could avoid this problem.  However, do we want to live in a world where 99.99% of the people meekly bow down before the gov/corp mandated restrictions on general computing, and a tiny minority know how to get round them, using stuff like FPGA processors, and clunky, slow, custom-built (and probably illegal) CPUs?

Being the Stainless Steel Rat* might sound cool, but it would be a shit situation to be in.

Ben Zaiboc

* Harry Harrison, in case anyone doesn't get the reference.

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